HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam and Ireland agreed Monday to increase their cooperation in education, renewable energy, information technology and health care, during a visit to the Southeast Asian country by Irish President Michael Higgins.
Higgins said he and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang discussed how the two countries can serve as a bridge for developing relations with the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"We discussed the changes in the economic circumstances of both of our countries in recent times and how Ireland and Vietnam can cooperate on being both bridges on the one hand to the European Union and on the other, a bridge to the 600 million people of the ASEAN community," Higgins told reporters at a joint news conference with Quang.
They also discussed climate change and sustainable development and how the two countries can meet their obligations under the Paris climate agreement, Higgins said.
Quang said the two countries have much more to offer in boosting their cooperation.
"We are pleased to see very positive development in Vietnam-Ireland relations, and the two countries still have much potential to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interests such as trade, investment, education, green technology, agriculture, health care and sustainable development," Quang said.
Among agreements signed Monday and witnessed by Higgins and Quang were three wind power projects in southern Vietnam with a total investment of $2.2 billion.
Energy consumption in Vietnam has seen an annual increase of more than 10 percent over the past decade and is expected to continue to increase to meet growing demand in the country of 93 million.